Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A "Rest" Day with mountain villagers


Last night we shared dinner with Leif and Ky, our Norwegian friends, and they invited us to join them for a rest day. Today was quite the rest day! We spent the day on a 4 X 4, cruising over the back roads and pistes of Morocco. We traveled through small villages and brought plenty of supplies to give away to the mountain Berber village people and children.

The highlight of the trip was when Leif gave away a pair of his old climbing boots to a Berber man living with his family. He immediately invited us for tea with his family. These people were extremely poor and lived essentially under a burlap tent with what seemed like absolutely nothing.

As we sat for tea, the communication looked like this. We asked a question in Spanish to another guy, who was from Tangier, Morocco, who happened to be following close by and was with us for the tea. He then translated into Arabic the question to Hassan, our driver; Hassan then asked the village people the question in Berber, which is the mountain dialect. They responded in Berber; Hassan translated to Arabic, which was then translated into Spanish for us to understand! Quite the interesting chain of communication.

Apparently he had lived there, in that tent, with his family, for 17 years! They were content with the lifestyle and lived off the land in the mountains very simply. Ryan and I discussed this concept of living for quite some time. What purpose would it serve to have more when the simple existence is what this family knows and wants? To feel the sun and the wind; to live in the mountains for centuries in happiness. Who are we to say what is right or wrong way to live???? We shared tea and bread and Leif also gave an old climbing rope to him as another final act of kindness. Quite the amazing experience to share.

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